Week 1 Down!

Build season has kicked off and we are happy to report that Storm Robotics has jumped right into the action.  While there are mixed reactions to the new game, Ultimate Ascent, most are excited for a new challenge.   This year’s game involves–you might have guessed it–frisbees!  There are two alliances on a 57×24 foot field with three robots per alliance.  They compete to score as many points as possible in a two minute and 15 second time frame–15 seconds of autonomous play and a two minute tele-op period.  There are slots at different heights and score values; the higher the slot, the higher the point value.  On top of this, during autonomous mode, scoring is also doubled.  In the middle of the field is a large pyramid with three levels.  At the top is a scoring mechanism that gives an alliance five points when hit.  However, this structure is primarily used for the end game.  If a robot is able to climb and hang on the structure, the alliance will gain bonus points based on how high it is from the ground.  Of course, there are many other rules and semantics involved in the game, and we look forward to scrutinizing and breaking down each aspect of it.

We interviewed a few members of STORM, who had a number of opinions about Ultimate Ascent and this season in general.  

Adam, a member of our electrical branch:  “I think it’s the most challenging game to date.  It’s complicated just like every other year, but this time there are so many more variables, which means the engineering will be much more intricate.  It’ll be a challenge, but also very fun.” When asked what he was looking forward to this year, he enthusiastically responded, “The competitions–they’re the most exciting part of Robotics.   It’s where all of our work comes together and we get to compete against other equally qualified teams.  Win or lose, it’s always fun!”  

One of our software members, Andrew, agreed:  “I’m most excited about the competitions.  We get to see all our hard work paid off.  It’s a lot of fun to see how enthusiastic people are!”  He also shared his view of the game, saying, “I think it’s an interesting challenge. We have two incredibly difficult tasks — shooting frisbees and climbing a pyramid.  It’s not as easy to throw a frisbee as it is to throw a basketball like last year.  Getting the robot off the ground is pretty difficult too.”

STORM got right to work with a few collaborative meetings, bouncing ideas around.  Breaking up into small groups, we brainstormed several general designs before coming back together and presenting each one.  3D structures, general sketches, and in-depth explanations were thrown around.

All in all, the season is off to a great start.  We are all excited to work and build a robot to meet this challenge.

Various members of the STORM Robotics team brainstorming and constructing


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